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Panthers vs Jets: Live Game Grades, Player Analysis for Carolina

Stephen FenechCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2012

Panthers vs Jets: Live Game Grades, Player Analysis for Carolina

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    The Carolina Panthers beat the New York Jets 17-12 in Week 3 of the preseason. 

    While the Panthers overcame the Jets, it wasn't the performance that they were hoping for coming into the game. 

    Starting quarterback Cam Newton wasn't overly impressive, but he will be ready when the opening game comes around in September. 

    Here's a look at how the Panthers looked exiting their third preseason game. 

Starting Quarterback

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    Final Grade: C

    Nothing to write home about from the quarterback position in Week 3, but that isn't a big deal at this point.

    Cam Newton didn't look great, but he will be ready when the time presents itself.  

     

    Quarter 4: C

    Derek Anderson connected on a one-yard touchdown pass to Gary Barnridge for the second unit's first touchdown in almost two full games.   

     

    Quarter 3: C- 

    Cam Newton didn't get any playing time in the second half, as Derek Anderson took over for him.

    Anderson threw an interception during his first drive, but he looked good in the preseason games prior to this one. He is a strong backup, but he shouldn't be expected to play like a starting quarterback in the NFL or he would have been one.  

     

    Quarter 2: C

    Cam Newton went 2-of-7 in the second quarter, but one of those completions was a touchdown pass to Louis Murphy.

    In the second quarter, Newton looked more like the quarterback that didn't perform well against the Houston Texans in the first week of the preseason than the player who dominated the Miami Dolphins last week.

    Not much should be taken from his subpar quarter, but it would have been nice to see him perform better.  

     

    Quarter 1: C

    Cam Newton went 4-of-8 in the first quarter, while gaining 16 yards on the ground.

    He did get the ball where it needed to be when his reads were open, but a 50 percent completion percentage isn't going to get it done.

    Newton's strong performance last season made his expectations much bigger for this season, and he will need to perform better to meet them.  

Offense

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    Final Grade: B-

    The Panthers clearly missed Steve Smith, but they will have him back in time for the regular season. 

    With Smith, the Panthers are much more explosive on offense, so there shouldn't be any overreacting to what wasn't the teams' best offensive performance.  

     

    Quarter 4: B

    Louis Murphy has all but locked up his spot as the team's third wide receiver after tonight's performance. He is going to move the chains for Cam Newton this season, and the Panthers front office made an excellent decision in trading for him in the off-season. 

    In the first drive of the fourth quarter, Derek Anderson led the Panthers on a touchdown drive. It was encouraging to see the second unit do so, because they weren't able to find the end-zone last week.

     

    Quarter 3: D

    The second team offense took the field when the Panthers got the ball in the second half, and Derek Anderson threw an interception to end their first drive of the half.

    Not much from the second unit in the third quarter, just like last week. Panthers fans are going to have to hope that the members of their first unit manage to stay healthy this season.

    Carolina didn't score any points in the third quarter, although the Jets did dominate the ball.  

     

    Quarter 2: B

    DeAngelo Williams fumbled the ball again, but returned it on his own this time. That being said, he has to take better care of the ball or he won't be receiving the touches that he did in the past.

    The offensive line was solid while run blocking and were much better in that respect on outside runs.

    Cam Newton hooked up with Louis Murphy to capitalize on Captain Munnerlyn's interception, giving the Panthers the lead inside of two minutes.  

     

    Quarter 1: B-

    The Panthers ran the ball 11 times for 33 yards, which is a little less than you would expect from them. DeAngelo Williams fumbled, but it was recovered by the Panthers. Although Carolina didn't lose possession, plays like that will land Williams on the bench. 

    Brandon LaFell, who acted as the team's primary receiver with Steve Smith out, recorded two catches in the first quarter for 28 yards.

    Tight end Greg Olsen also caught two passes for 27 yards and stretched the field. If he is able to carry that over to the regular season, the Panthers will be a nightmare to defend.

Defense

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    Final Grade: B

    The Panthers were solid on defense all night, although they were facing the league's most pathetic offense up to this point.

    They allowed only 12 points and appear to be ready for the start of the regular season.

     

    Quarter 4: B+

    Thomas Keiser sacked Tim Tebow, once again proving that he never stops playing as hard he can.

    Reggie Smith picked off Tebow after the Keiser sack, ending the momentum that Tebow created when he scrambled for a first down on third and long.  

     

    Quarter 3: B

    Luke Kuechly made a very nice play on third-and-one on the Jets first drive, as he stopped Shonn Green from getting a first down by showing tremendous instincts.

    While they didn't shut down the Jets opening drive of the half, they didn't allow any points as their opposition missed the field goal attempt.

    Ultimately, the Panthers only surrendered three points in third quarter and certainly can't be killed for that. 

     

    Quarter 2: B+

    The Panthers kept the Jets out of the end zone in the second quarter, which was an accomplishment considering that Cam Newton's fumble put them in a compromised position.

    Jets QB Mark Sanchez looked good until the he got into the red-zone. He also threw an interception that bumped off the chest of Stephen Hill that was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn. 

    Not exactly what you would like to see from the defense in terms of yards allowed, but at least they kept the Jets out of the end-zone.   

     

    Quarter 1: B- 

    The Panthers bent on the Jets first drive but didn't break. Jets QB Mark Sanchez went 4-4 for 45 yards and found the holes in Carolina's coverage.

    The Panthers run defense was strong, as they held Shonn Green to just four yard on two carries.

    Carolina held the Jets to a field goal attempt on their first drive, which they converted.

    Thomas Davis registered a sack on Mark Sanchez during the second drive, which was a beautiful sight for Panthers fans.  

Special Teams

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    Final Grade: C

    Kealoha Pilares and Joe Adams will be among the best return combinations in the NFL. The kicker and punter positions are also solidifying, so the Panthers should be solid this season. 

     

    Quarter 4: C

    The Panthers special teams were solid overall and should make a difference in a positive way once the regular season stars. 

     

    Quarter 3: C

    Nothing noteworthy happened on special teams in the third quarter for the Panthers.  

     

    Quarter 2: C

    Brad Nortman kicked a nice punt that pinned the Jets on their 12-yardline.

    Kealoha Pilares took a kickoff out of the end-zone, but only brought it out to the 12-yard line. Not exactly the result you want to see when you pass up decent field position.  

     

    Quarter 1: B

    Nothing of note on special teams in the first quarter.

    Olindo Mare hit a 33-yard field goal in the first quarter, but all NFL kickers should hit that kick.

    Kealoha Pilares took a touchback on one return and returned another for 24 yards. Nothing spectacular, but at least he didn't try to do too much. 

    Nick Harris also punted the ball once for 44 yards, but Brad Nortman still figures to be the punter on opening day. 

Coaching

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    Final Grade: C

    Ron Rivera should have a somewhat clear picture of what he has on his football team and should be happy that none of his big-time players have gotten seriously injured. 

     

    Quarter 4: C

    The coaching staff had a clear plan on when to transition from unit to unit, and that was apparent in the game. 

     

    Quarter 3: C-

    Ron Rivera should have challenged a fourth-and-short attempt by Mark Sanchez, but hopefully he would have done so in a regular season game.

    As has been stated in the previous two quarters, we are in the preseason. It is more about focusing on their roster than winning games for coaches. 

     

    Quarter 2: C

    Once again, this is the preseason. The coaches are focused on their own teams and who should make the team rather than putting the team in a position to win the game.   

     

    Quarter 1: C

    Nothing much to report on this end, as few teams prepare for their preseason opponents but rather have their own agendas.

    The Panthers appear to be on the right track heading into the regular season. 

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